OWNER: J.R. Machowiak HOMETOWN: South Bend, Indiana RIDE: '96 Chevy Blazer CLUB: Costly Ob
Whenever you 'bag a Chevy Blazer, there are certain characteristics in the design of the chassis that make laying one flat on the ground quite a chore. For instance, the last couple feet of framerail before the rear axle sits at least 4 inches lower than the rest of the frame. And the gas tank isn't mounted much higher than the annoyingly low section of framerail, either, making the whole proposition of dragging a Blazer's frame on the ground most unappealing. Because of this, it's common to see most 'bagged or juiced Blazer's sitting at weird angles when they are parked at shows or cruise spots, and the daylight seen beneath their framerails almost certainly gives their owners fits of jealously when compared to other trucks and SUVs. Now, if you look closely at this fine example of mini-truckin' style, you'll notice that it's layin' pretty hard. It's not completely flat, mind you, but it's damn close - a characteristic that we at MT can fully appreciate. J.R. Machowiak's '96 S-Blazer sits lower than most of its non body-dropped counterparts thanks to his friend Troy Galloway, who trimmed 2 inches from the bottom of the offending frame sections, boxing and plating them for strength. Troy also went the extra mile to fabricate new control arms for the front suspension to counteract the effects of this minis' four- wheel-drive system. This truck is a 4x4? That's right. A 4x4 that lays hard, looks good, and is J.R.'s costly obsession. If the taillights don't tell the story of this badass mini, nothing else will. So check out the photos and the Lowdown portion of this article for all the info on this hammered 4x4.
Chassis/Suspension Troy Galloway of Bremen, Indiana, built new control arms for the front suspension that allowed Air Ride Technologies' Shockwave 'bag/shock combo to be installed in place of the stock coil springs. The new control arms are coupled with a pair of 2-inch drop spindles and allow the frontend of the truck to lay, even with the 4wd system in place. The rear leaf springs were replaced with a custom-built four-link suspension that is welded to a narrowed GM rearend. The rear is narrowed 1.5 inches on each side to allow the wheels to tuck. The framerails had 2 inches trimmed from the bottom where the stock gas tank sat to allow the truck to sit lower. The stock tank was removed, and a new one was relocated to the rear of the truck; 2600 airbags provide the lift for the rear suspension.
Wheels/Tires 18x8-inch Enkie EN20s are stuffed into 235/40ZR18 BFGoodrich tires.
Body Mods Troy Galloway built a custom roll pan to replace the stock bumper using a stock GM roll pan. He also spent nearly 80 hours building and installing the dollar-sign taillights. He then shaved the door handles, the antenna hole, the hood squirter holes, and the stock taillights. A phantom billet grille from Trenz replaced the stock plastic unit.
Custom Paint Troy also custom-mixed his own version of PPG's Tangerine Copper Pearl and covered the entire truck in the brilliant hue.
Interior Barry's Upholstery ran with the stock tan interior color, accenting it with tan leather and cheetah-print suede inserts. Barry further enhanced the look of the interior by adding a billet steering wheel and accent panels, along with a white-faced gauge cluster.
Audio/Video System An Eclipse monitor mounted in the dash controls the expansive audio system in J.R.'s mini. Ryan Mack built the custom enclosure in the cargo area that houses four JL Audio 12W3 subwoofers. A false floor was also constructed by Mach and Todd Rhodes to provide a home for the Phoenix Gold 450 amplifier and a quartet of Phoenix Gold 350 amplifiers. All four doors were then stuffed with Diamond component speaker systems for the ultimate in sound quality. The Eclipse monitor was put to use by installing a Jensen VCP in the interior of the Blazer so that J.R. could watch his favorite videos.
Owner's Quote "I'd like to thank Troy Galloway, my mom and dad, and my club, Costly Obsessions. I built this mini to spend time with my father and to get into this sport."